News that The AeroClinic has opened its second airport-based health clinic speaks not only to the importance of the convenience care industry but also to the industry’s evolution as health care professionals continue their quest to provide consumers with quality, affordable and convenient healthcare services.
Most of today’s convenient care clinics are located within food, drug and mass outlets; however, there’s no doubt that airports are an emerging hotbed for walk-in clinics, as demonstrated by the recent growth of The AeroClinic and rival Harmony Pharmacy & Health Center. Harmony Pharmacy & Health Center is expecting to open several more airport-based clinics in the coming months.
The concept makes sense for several reasons. It enables clinic operators to reach millions of people and affords ill travelers with convenient access to health care. Anyone who has been forced to travel while they are suffering from an ailment like the flu or a sinus infection knows all too well how uncomfortable it can be. This, aside from the fact that the airport-based clinics are also uniquely positioned to capitalizae on the travel vaccinations business, as AeroClinic has done.
As yet another nod to the importance of this emerging segment, Harmony has hired former Walgreens executive, Michael Tovian, as its new president and chief executive officer. The savvy, 27-year Walgreens veteran gives Harmony important experience in retail pharmacy, a key challenge for the airport-based clinic model; convenient care clinics by nature need a pharmacy component to thrive, the Stark Law requires separate entities to operate the prescribing and the dispensing sides of the operation, and in general, airports don't typically house a retail pharmacy. Navigating these challenges will be a bit easier for a career pharmacy vet like Tovian, who last served Walgreens as vp of managed care sales and contracting.